11 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your first trimester

    Updated 24 August 2023 |
    Published 24 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Inova Health System, Washington, DC, US
    Written by Christina Quaine
    Edited by Sarah Biddlecombe
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    From baby developments to anticipating your pregnancy bump, here’s the lowdown on being 11 weeks pregnant.

    Welcome to being 11 weeks pregnant! You’re well into your first trimester now — in fact, there are only a couple of weeks until you land in trimester number two. From your baby’s development to your pregnancy symptoms, here’s the lowdown on everything that’s happening at 11 weeks, with some advice from a Flo expert. 

    Your baby at 11 weeks pregnant

    They’re forming their voice box

    Your baby is starting to form their voice box — yes, really! They’ll even know how to cry in your uterus starting from about 28 weeks, but you won’t be able to hear them — plenty of time for that later, right?

    Their eyelids are developing

    As well as developing, their tiny eyelids are currently closed — but they’ll begin to open when you’re around 28 weeks pregnant. 

    How big is your baby at 11 weeks?

    Length (crown to rump): Around 4.1 cm or 1.6 in.

    Weight: Around 45 g or 1.6 oz

    Size: Equivalent to a fig

    All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.

    Your body at 11 weeks pregnant

    Skin changes

    Are you currently experiencing radiant, rosy, just-had-a-facial skin? It’s thought that this “pregnancy glow” is due to a combination of factors. First, there’s more blood circulating in your body when you’re pregnant, and second, your pregnancy hormones are ramping up your skin’s oil production. 

    But for some people, these factors can have a less lovely consequencepregnancy acne. If that’s you, then hang in there. And if acne is getting you down, be sure to speak to your doctor. There are lots of treatment options that could help — you don’t have to suffer in silence. We’ll take a look at some home remedies you can try later in this article.

    Constipation 

    Finding it hard to poop or not being able to go as often as usual is common around now, says Dr. Jenna Flanangan, obstetrician and gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts, US. “It’s partly because the hormone progesterone slows down your gastric transit,” she explains. Let’s break that information down a bit. Essentially, progesterone relaxes the workings of your digestive system, meaning that food has longer to hang around in your bowel. The longer it’s there, the more time your large intestine has to absorb moisture out of it. The result? Your poop gets drier, meaning it’s harder to get rid of. 

    Dr. Flanagan adds that this first-trimester symptom could also be due to a change in diet. “If you have nausea, you’re more likely to crave simple carbohydrates like bread, and you might not be drinking many fluids,” she says. “So the combination of progesterone, the slow gastric transit, and maybe not having a diet high enough in fiber and drinking enough fluids can all lead to constipation.” If you’re finding this uncomfortable, eating food packed with fiber and drinking your recommended 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water a day might help to get things moving again.

    Your questions answered

    What can you expect from your first scan?

    The timing of your first scan depends on your provider. “Ideally, at between seven and nine weeks, you’d have a scan to confirm all is well with your pregnancy and to give you an estimated due date,” says Dr. Flanagan. Your health care provider will calculate your baby’s due date 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. So tracking your periods can be helpful. You might see figures like 11/3 or 11+3 in your medical notes. This is because your health care provider will monitor your pregnancy in completed weeks. So 11/3 means 11 weeks and three days. But some providers schedule the first ultrasound date closer to 12 weeks of pregnancy

    This scan will most likely be a transvaginal ultrasound, where a probe is gently placed in your vagina to get images of your baby. You don’t have to do anything special to prepare — but if you have difficulty with vaginal exams, it’s worth letting your provider know. They may be able to suggest breathing exercises or techniques to help relieve some of your anxiety. And don’t forget that you can take your partner, a friend, or a family member for support and hand-holding.

    Can you tell the sex at 11 weeks?

    Being able to tell the sex of your baby is an exciting moment — if you decide to find out what you’re having, of course! And is this possible at 11 weeks? “It is, and that’s through noninvasive prenatal testing [a blood test], which you can have from 10 weeks of pregnancy,” says Dr. Flanagan. First and foremost, this test is used to determine whether there are any chromosomal abnormalities in your baby. However, “The chromosomes that are tested include the sex chromosomes, so, at the same time, your doctor can tell you whether there’s a Y chromosome present or absent. The Y chromosome is only there if you have a male fetus.” 

    What should you avoid at 11 weeks pregnant?

    You can keep going with following a healthy pregnancy diet and staying active, but if your pregnancy symptoms are currently overwhelming, it’s OK to take it easy. There will be plenty of time later in your pregnancy for exercise. However, you should steer clear of drinking alcohol and smoking. All of these steps are important for your growing baby’s health and development  — and they’ll help to keep you healthy, too! 

    Can you feel your baby at 11 weeks?

    Not yet — your baby isn’t big enough for you to feel their mini kicks, punches, and high fives just yet. You’ll feel these movements for the first time between 16-24 weeks pregnant. “Generally, people who’ve had pregnancies before feel the movement at the earlier end of that window. If you have an anterior placenta — when your placenta grows at the front of your uterus — that can mean you feel movements toward the later end of that window,” she adds. If you do have an anterior placenta, then don’t worry — this is perfectly normal and won’t cause any harm to you or your baby.

    And if you’re wondering whether you can expect to show a baby bump at 11 weeks, the answer is — not quite yet. When your bump shows will vary greatly from person to person, but experts advise that you’ll most likely notice a change to your pregnant belly around 12 weeks.

    Want to know more?

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    11 weeks pregnant checklist

    Opt for omega-3

    Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat found in different foods — mainly oily fish such as salmon and sardines but also in flaxseed, broccoli, spinach, and walnuts. “It’s a good idea to eat these foods in pregnancy because there’s some evidence that omega-3s may be important for your baby’s brain development,” advises Dr. Flanagan. 

    There’s also some evidence that omega-3s during pregnancy might reduce your risk of having a preterm birth. One scientific review of 70 studies found that increasing your intake of omega-3s lowers the risk of having a premature baby (less than 34 weeks) by 42% — food for thought.

    Add calcium-rich foods to your diet 

    Next time you need a snack, consider reaching for yogurt or cheese (as if we needed to be told twice). Dairy products are the best source of calcium, and it’s a nutrient you need for your baby’s bone and teeth development. If dairy is not your thing, you can also find calcium in dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, sesame seeds, and fortified cereals and breads. Women who are 18 or younger need 1,300 mg per day, while if you’re 19 or older, you need around 1,000 mg each day. To put that into context, 8 oz. of plain, low-fat yogurt contains about 415 mg of calcium, while half a cup of cooked spinach gives you 123 mg of calcium.

    Give your skin some love

    If pregnancy acne is getting you down, these steps might help

    • Use a mild cleanser with lukewarm water.
    • Don’t pick or squeeze pimples (it’s so tempting, we know!), as this can leave you with scars.
    • Choose oil-free beauty products and cosmetics — because acne is caused by excess oil, greasy products can make the problem worse. 

    When to see your doctor at 11 weeks pregnant

    You don’t need to wait until your appointments if you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy. However, “If you’re having any vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, or persistent cramping, these are times to make a call to your doctor as they’re signs of a threatened miscarriage,” advises Dr. Flanagan. These can be incredibly scary symptoms to experience during pregnancy, but try not to panic. Your doctor will be able to check you over and run any necessary tests and hopefully reassure you that everything is OK.

    It’s a good idea to keep an eye on any nausea and vomiting, too (you may have heard this referred to as morning sickness, although it can happen at any time). “If you’re unable to keep food or liquids down, and if you’re not peeing as often as usual because you’re vomiting so much, this is a time to contact your physician,” Dr. Flanagan adds. You may be experiencing more severe nausea and vomiting than usual, which could potentially cause complications for your pregnancy.

    At 11 weeks pregnant, you should also contact your doctor immediately if you experience: 

    This isn’t an exhaustive list and just an example of some of the changes you should look out for. Some of these can be a sign of miscarriage or other health complications, so it’s essential that you speak to your doctor about the best next step for you. And if you’re ever worried about any other symptoms you experience during pregnancy, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider. 

    11 weeks pregnant: The takeaway

    You’re getting close to the end of your first trimester now, and your baby is growing and developing at a rapid rate. In fact, by next week, you might notice that you have a small baby bump! If pregnancy symptoms such as acne and constipation are getting you down, then reach out to your doctor for advice — there are plenty of treatment options available and lots of home remedies and lifestyle tweaks you can try. 

    References

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    “Congenital Malformations of the Larynx.” Medscape, Dec. 2022, emedicine.medscape.com/article/837630-overview.

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    Gingras, J. L., et al. “Fetal Homologue of Infant Crying.” Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition, vol. 90, no. 5, Sep. 2005, pp. F415–18.

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    History of updates

    Current version (24 August 2023)

    Reviewed by Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Inova Health System, Washington, DC, US
    Written by Christina Quaine
    Edited by Sarah Biddlecombe

    Published (24 February 2019)

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